The ISIS attacks in Paris mark a step-change in the threat that group poses to the West. The tactics employed came straight from the battlefields of the Middle East into the heart of Europe. The group hit multiple targets simultaneously without detection by French security services despite a series of arrests aimed at disrupting this operation. That capability demonstrates superior planning ability, resilience, and operational security.
ISIS’s claimed attacks in Paris on November 13 mark the organization’s most sophisticated assault in the West to date. This interactive graphic depicts the individuals, events and locations directly linked to the Paris attacks. Eight attackers in three coordinated teams attacked six locations in Paris including the Stade de France sports stadium and the Bataclan art center with AK-47s, grenades, and SVESTs.
ISIS continues to execute its global strategy to defend its terrain within Iraq and Syria, to foster affiliates in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, and to encourage and resource terror attacks in the wider world.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s (ISIS) assault on the city of Mosul on June 10, 2014 demonstrated its formidable military strength. ISIS’s activities across Iraq and Syria also reveal that the organization is engaged in governance programs, ranging from Shari’a courts to aid distribution and law enforcement. These efforts underscore ISIS’s desire to erect a functional Caliphate within the boundaries of its controlled territory.
The Russian air campaign continued to support regime ground operations against the Syrian opposition in Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib, Hama, and Dera’a Provinces from November 11 - 12. Russian warplanes targeted rebel-held terrain in the southern Aleppo countryside, enabling pro-regime forces to seize the towns of al-Hader and al-Eis located southwest of Aleppo City on November 12.
Russian-backed separatist forces renewed coordinated offensive operations across the front line in eastern Ukraine on November 7. This escalation follows a two-month operational pause that coincided with the start of the Russian intervention in Syria. Both the separatist ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR) and the Ukrainian military reported the completion of the withdrawal of light artillery from the front line in the days leading up to the recent clashes. An agreement to withdraw light weapons and tanks served as the main focus of the September 1 renewed ceasefire.
Iraqi Security Forces have advanced towards and are proximate to infrastructure necessary for assault on downtown Ramadi.
Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated on November 10 that Russia was developing nuclear-capable strike systems that could penetrate NATO’s planned missile defense shield in Europe. Russian-backed separatists reignited hostilities on the front line in eastern Ukraine after a two-month operational pause that coincided with Russia’s deployments to Syria. Russia may be escalating operations in response to a November 4 EU leadership statement indicating that Europe may extend sanctions beyond January 2016.
Russian airstrikes continued to support regime ground operations in Aleppo, Hama, Homs, Idlib, and Dera’a from November 9 - 10. Pro-regime forces relieved several hundred regime soldiers besieged by ISIS in the Kuweires Airbase east of Aleppo City on November 10 with air support provided by Russian warplanes.
The Syrian regime and its allies reestablished a ground line of communication (GLOC) to the hitherto-besieged Kuweires Airbase east of Aleppo City in their first significant victory since the start of the Russian air campaign in Syria on September 30.